Neuromonitoring and Neural Networks

The winners of the 2023 thesis awards of the Technology and Society Forum. Sourc
The winners of the 2023 thesis awards of the Technology and Society Forum. Source: alumniTUGraz 1887 / Clemens Nestroy
By Werner Schandor

Technology and Society Forum’s promotional prizes were again awarded to doctoral and master’s theses that make a positive contribution to the development of society.

The societal potential of technological research is the main criterion for the thesis awards of the Technology and Society Forum. A total of 78 theses were submitted this year, eleven of which were presented at TU Graz in person by graduates at the beginning of July. Finally, the jury awarded eight prizes worth a total of 16,500 euros, including two " Ingenieurinnen gestalten 2023" (female engineers design 2023) awards worth 2,000 euros each. One of them went to the TU Graz graduate and architect Azra Alibabic for the design of a women’s shelter in the Pakistani metropolis of Karachi. The second award went to FH JOANNEUM graduate Anja Stadlhofer for her Master’s thesis on machine learning methods in industrial use.

Award-winning Master’s theses

The precise determination of the physicochemical properties of individual aerosol particles is the focus of Felix Stollberger ’s Master’s thesis, which was awarded 3rd prize. He developed a novel measurement method based on photothermal interferometry that can be used, among other things, to improve the calculation of aerosols in future climate models.

The 2nd prize went to Elisabeth Frohmann for her study of bilateral hearing with cochlear implants (CI). These enable deaf or profoundly hearing-impaired persons to perceive their acoustic environment again. Frohmann ’s work provides approaches to also enable localised hearing by means of.

The main prize for the best Master’s thesis went to Michael Wimmer for demonstrating that neurophysiological monitoring of spinal cord surgery is in principle also possible non-invasively. "The results of this work could help to further develop methods for intraoperative neuromonitoring and for the diagnosis of spinal cord diseases," says the award winner.

Award-winning doctoral theses

Medicinal products in the form of tablets, capsules or granules are usually covered with a coating that protects the active ingredients or regulates their release in the body. In his dissertation, Matthias Wolfgang investigates how optical coherence tomography (OCT) can be used to enable precise, uniform coating in the coating process. The -based in-line sensor he developed is now used industrially. Wolfgang was awarded the 3rd prize for doctoral theses for this.

In the field of IT security, TU Graz has also been successful internationally in the last several years. The winner of the second prize for a doctoral thesis Martin Schwarzl analyses another nuance of so-called side-channel attacks in his doctoral thesis. Side-channel attacks make it possible, for example, to read out customer data from websites without authorisation. Based on Schwarzl ’s doctoral thesis, an efficient countermeasure for such hacker attacks was developed in cooperation with the US company Cloudflare.

Higher reliability of radar signals

Johanna Rock opened up a completely new field of research for TU Graz with her dissertation on noise suppression of interfering signals in radar sensors using convolutional neural networks (CNN). As an advanced method of machine learning, has the potential to significantly increase the reliability of radar sensors for automated driving and driver assistance systems, which have been highly susceptible to interference up to now. As part of Rock ’s doctoral thesis, seven scientific papers have already been published and two patents filed. Now she has also been awarded the 1st prize for doctoal theses by the Technology and Society Forum.

You can find this and other articles to browse through in TU Graz people #85 , the magazine for TU Graz employees and interested parties.